Denver Mental Health Specialties Westside Behavioral Care


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Westside Behavioral Care: We listen, we counsel; we treat, and we care.

Adjustment Disorder
Counseling or therapy can be helpful when a person is having special difficulty adjusting to one or more highly stressful circumstances such as divorce or death of a loved one.

Adoption Counseling
Adoption of a child involves specific processes and lengthy time periods, which may be highly difficult and stressful and which may benefit by counseling from a specialist. Therapists who specialize in Adoption also counsel people who have been adopted and have been troubled by one or more aspects of the adoptive family or situation.

Attention Deficit Disorder ADD/ADHD
Children as well as adults may suffer from this disorder, characterized by symptoms such as hyperactivity, learning disabilities, inability to comply with parental demands, difficulty with concentration, and distractibility.

Adolescent Counseling & Therapy
Children ages 13-18 define a particular developmental stage with many social and family challenges. Specialists with adolescent counseling experience and training often work with the adolescent and with the adolescent’s family members to make the transition through this stage of life go more smoothly.

AIDS & HIV Therapy
Individuals who have contracted AIDS or HIV often require special therapeutic understanding of medication, cultural factors, socialization, and relationships.

Alcohol Abuse Counseling & Treatment
Alcohol abuse and addiction is one of the most common, dangerous, and debilitating of all psychological conditions. Individuals with this problem are over-ingesting alcohol to a point of disturbance with social, familial, and/or occupational functioning.

Anger Management

Anger management describes a host of conditions from authority problems to spouse abuse, often exacerbated by drug or alcohol abuse or circumstances reminiscent of early childhood experiences.

Anxiety is an inevitable part of everyday life. If you didn’t feel any anxiety in response to everyday challenges involving potential loss or failure, something would be wrong with you. However, when anxiety becomes more intense (e.g., panic attacks), lasts longer, (for months after a stressful situation has passed) or leads to phobias that interfere with your life and daily functioning (i.e., inability to leave the house), it is time to seek the help of a trained professional.

Bipolar Disorder
Also called manic depression, Bipolar Disorder is a mental illness under the Affective Disorders classification. It is caused by problematic psychophysiology and can be treated first with psychotropic medication. This disorder is often misdiagnosed because bipolar patients may be primarily depressed, manic, rapid cycling or in remission. Manic states may be accompanied by rapid speaking, insomnia, flight of ideas, tremendous energy, poor impulse control and poor judgment.

Sub-specialties in this area:
    Bipolar II Disorder

Blended Families Counseling
Blended family is a term used to describe when parents with children from a former marriage get remarried. Blended families commonly have problems with adjustment and child rearing and often benefit from counseling specially adapted to these problems.

Child Abuse
The sexual, physical or emotional abuse of children, a condition which many states often mandate clinicians to report as a way of protecting children.  Abused children require special care, counseling and therapy and adults who were abused as children can also benefit from counseling.

Children (ages 1-5)
Small children are subject to various conditions relevant to their age group; e.g., noncompliance with parental requests, various eating problems, anxiety, tantrums, depression, and fears or phobias.

Children (ages 6-12)
Small children are subject to various conditions relevant to their age group; e.g., noncompliance with parental requests, various eating problems, anxiety, tantrums, depression, and fears or phobias.

Christian Counseling
This is therapy provided by a counselor who has an active, Christian faith and who places an emphasis on counseling from a Christian perspective.

Chronic Illness
Any of a number of chronic maladies; e.g., high blood pressure, cardiopulmonary disease, diabetes, heart disease, chronic pain, asthma, and obesity which may be treated by psychotherapy as an adjunct to medical care.

Chronic Pain
Although acute pain is normal and warns us of possible injury, chronic pain persists for weeks, months, or years. The initial cause may be an injury of some sort; alternatively, there may be an illness such as arthritis or cancer, but some people suffer chronic pain without any known cause or condition.

Spouses or significant others of those dependent upon drugs or alcohol may themselves be dependent upon the addict remaining addicted. This usually is an unconscious motivation which becomes apparent in a counseling context.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
This is the therapy of “attitudes”. Its underlying assumption is that negative emotions and behavior are influenced to a significant degree by one’s own thoughts…and that by changing self-destructive ideation, one can become much less unhappy.

Conduct Disorder (Children 6-12 years)
Conduct Disorder often looks like Oppositional Defiant Disorder, only worse. It is a very serious condition among adolescents because of its potential for harm to the individual and society; in fact, it is considered to be one of the most serious and prevalent mental health conditions among young people, affecting about 8% of boys and 2% of girls.

Conduct Disorder
A very serious behavioral difficulty among adolescents, especially those with histories of abuse, lack of parental discipline, and/or neglect. The primary symptom is a tendency toward lawlessness and disrespect for authority.

Crisis Counseling
This is psychotherapeutic intervention that is begun while a client is still in the midst of a recent or ongoing emotional upheaval or critical difficulty of some sort.

Critical Incident Debriefing
A specialized form of crisis counseling designed for implementation immediately after a trauma that has affected many people at once.

This category actually encompasses many conditions; e.g.,

1) Major Depression, a severe form of affective illness characterized by relatively acute onset, disruption of social and occupational activities, sadness, hopelessness, loss of interest or pleasure and one or more “vegetative” signs such as diurnal variation (doing worse at certain times of day, usually mornings), anhedonia, loss of appetite, insomnia/hypersomnia, and suicidal ideation;

2) Dysthymia, a less severe form of depression relative to Major Depression but with less acute onset and a chronic symptom picture; and

3) Adjustment Disorder with Depressed Mood (see Adjustment Disorder, above).

Subspecialties in this area:
     Postpartum Depression

Developmental Disabilities
These encompass a variety of genetic and other conditions – such as Down’s syndrome – which cause learning limitations and developmental delays.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
This is not a disorder but rather a highly specialized form of intervention originally designed to help a severe psychological condition known as Borderline Personality Disorder. Therapists with this specialty have undergone special training in order to gain competence with this form of therapy.

Disabilities (Physical)
The onset of a physical disability can be extremely stressful and is often followed by a long period of depression. Specialist-counselors in this area aim to reduce the intensity and duration of this period of suffering and then help their clients adjust to any longer term challenges which may ensue from the condition.

Dissociative Disorders
This is a broad term encompassing several conditions in which sufferers “dissociate” from reality.

The significant change in lifestyle, emotional stability, stress, finances, and family organization, which may follow from divorce, make this one of the most common triggers for seeking professional help.

Domestic Violence
Spousal abuse, most often the physical abuse of a wife by a husband.

Eating Disorders
The three main categories of Adult Eating Disorders are: Bulimia, Anorexia, and Binge Eating.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing - a process developed to help clients process traumatic memories and events unconsciously. EMDR is primarily utilized to treat post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD.  Modeled on REM (rapid eye movements during sleep) which facilitates left-brain, right-brain hemisphere processing. These events can include experiences such as sexual or emotional abuse. The intense feelings that result from these types of events can become 'locked' in the nervous system and later produce symptoms of fear, anxiety, sadness and anger. It is a profound tool for rapid change. 

Emotional Disorders
This most often refers to Depression in its various forms, per the discussion above under Depression.

Employee Assistance Programs
These are work-force programs designed to assist troubled employees find competent psychotherapists in order to reduce the chances of absenteeism, job loss, and reduced work-time efficiency.

Family Therapy
This type of intervention presumes that family interactions and relationships may contribute not only to the source of mental health problems but also to their solution; hence, as many family members as possible are often invited to counseling sessions in order to address crucial difficulties.

     See Also:
     Marriage Counseling/Couples Therapy

The use of psychological evaluation and treatment in a setting in which criminal issues are involved.

This is an area of human behavior subject to addictive influence and subsequent, often catastrophic consequences. An addictions specialist and/or program, preferably with training in gambling behavior, is often required to address this problem effectively.

Gay Male Issues
This is another area where additional clinical training and specific expertise become useful in addressing difficulties pertinent to gay men and or to their relationships.

Gender Identity
A great deal of confusion and trauma may be caused by cross gender and identity issues, for which specialized clinical intervention is highly recommended.

Westside Counseling has several clinicians who specialize in seeing people 65 and older. Medicare and several secondary insurers are accepted.

Grief and Loss
Counseling may significantly reduce the period of suffering after a loss…and envelope it with meaning and understanding.

     Subspecialties in this area:
     Infant Loss

Group Work Therapy
This refers to the use of group intervention to help various problems. Groups may be structured as open ended or to end on a certain date. They may be “general”, meaning that many sorts of conditions are accepted, or specific, meaning that clients with only one clinical problem are accepted into the group. This latter type of group therapy often involves structured therapeutic exercises and interventions that are specific to the disorder being treated.

Head or Brain Injury
Therapy for this problem entails helping individuals recover lost cognitive functions, improve cognitive functions, and/or cope more effectively with difficulties which ensue from injury to the brain.

The use of hypnosis to address various problems such as obesity, nicotine addiction, depression, phobias, and stress.

Interpersonal and Relationship Issues
These issues comprise some of the main reasons people seek therapy, and the great majority of Westside clinicians are trained to intervene in this area. For articles specific to this category, please select Products from our home page Menu (left side of page), then Self-Help Products, and Relationships.

Learning Disabilities
Very common not only in children but in adults, these problems often lead to significant emotional and behavioral challenges. A specialist in this area of counseling is recommended.

Lesbian Issues
Several Westside counselors offer this specialization.

Marriage Counseling & Couples Therapy
Relationship issues comprise some of the main reasons people seek therapy, and the great majority of Westside clinicians are trained to intervene in this area. For articles specific to this category, please select the Products link (top left side of page), then select Self-Help Products, and Relationships.

     Subspecialties in this area:
     Gay & Lesbian Couples

This skill is useful in counseling troubled relationships, in resolving child custody issues, and in improving several other areas involving interpersonal disagreement or conflict.

Men's Issues
Some areas of emotional difficulty pertain primarily to men, and specialists in this area enjoy intervening with men to help them cope with male-specific issues.

Multicultural Issues
     Subspecialties in this area:
     Latino Mental Health Issues
Spanish-speaking clinicians

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder requires highly specialized intervention. The best therapies for OCD entail behavior therapy (using exposure with response prevention, among other things) and antidepressant (typically serotonergic) medication, often in combination.

Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD)
This disorder is most prevalent in children but is also very common among adolescents. It is definitely a reason to seek counseling and family therapy.  Basically, the disorder is characterized by aggressiveness – including abnormal resistance to authority – and a tendency to purposefully trouble other people. It is as though the individual gets stuck in an oppositional, two-year-old mindset all the way through childhood and in some cases adolescence.  Also see Conduct Disorder.

Pain Management
Some psychotherapeutic and stress management interventions have been shown by outcome research to help people manage chronic pain more effectively.

Panic Disorder
Panic disorder benefits most from highly specialized intervention. The best therapies for panic disorder involve cognitive or behavior therapy (using exposure and attitude retraining, among other things) and antidepressant (typically serotonergic) medication, often in combination.

Parenting Skills
Parents with oppositional children, children with ADD or ADHD, children with emotional problems, children in blended families, and children who are coping with divorce or other stressful, family circumstances often benefit from parenting skills classes or therapy.

Personality Disorders
Sufferers from personality disorders have longstanding personality characteristics, which cause them to exhibit socially upsetting and/or socially abnormal behavior. Depending on the problem, these disorders are usually described in negative ways; e.g., detached, bizarre, needy, antisocial or obsessive.

This can range from debilitating fears of specific things, such as snakes, insects, public speaking, to fears of multiple situations or stimuli such as those found in panic disorder or obsessive compulsive disorder.

Physical Abuse
This can relate to the abuse of children, adolescents, spouses, either currently or in the past. The consequences of physical abuse are significant and long-term.

Play Therapy
Play therapy is a form of intervention used with young children.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
PTSD is a term describing a cluster of symptoms that occur after – and as a result of – trauma such as that experienced through combat, rape, to assault. Victims of this disorder often complain of emotional numbing and of re-experiencing the traumatic circumstances through dreams, nightmares, flashbacks, and/or startle reactions.

Postpartum Depression
Postpartum depression (PPD), also known as postnatal depression, is a serious mood disorder. It affects women predominantly but not exclusively.


Post-partum depression, panic disorder, pre-partum depression, anxiety, and a host of family adjustments or disturbances may be associated with pregnancy.

This is relevant to a panoply of disorders and conditions ranging from schizophrenia and bipolar illness to the side effects of medication. Typically psychosis entails hallucinatory activity, principally auditory hallucinations (e.g., hearing voices), and/or additional symptoms representing a breakdown in the perception of reality.

This sexual trauma is a common cause of PTSD.

Sand Play
Sand play therapy is a form of intervention used with young children.

Sexual Abuse Survivors
Another source of PTSD and a host of other disorders and conditions, sexual abuse often has long-term, deleterious effects upon mental health and emotional stability.

Sexual Addiction
As the term implies, some people are driven to sexual excesses and problems by underlying emotional forces that often have only an indirect connection to sexuality itself.

Sexual Dysfunction
Any of a number of problems that affect sexual functioning in both sexes.

Sexual Perpetrators
Criminals who sexually exploit, abuse, victimize or assault other people, including child and adolescent victims.

Sleep Disorders
This includes insomnia, hypersomnia, sleep apnea, frequent nocturnal awakenings, restless leg syndrome, and irregularities in circadian rhythm.

Smoking Cessation
Mental health interventions, including hypnosis, to help people stop smoking.

Somatoform Disorders
This refers to people who express their emotional problems in the form of physical illnesses or problems.

Spiritual/Religious Issues
Westside has a number of Christian counselors and other clinicians who specialize in spiritual issues and questions and who approach counseling from a spiritual, Christian, or contemplative perspective.

Stress Management and Relaxation
Stress is a biological, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral response to upsetting or very demanding circumstances. If left untreated, it can have deleterious effects on happiness, health, and social and occupational functioning.

Substance Abuse
This refers to the abuse of - or dependence upon - alcohol and prescription or illicit drugs.

Suicidology is a mental health specialization involving the study of suicide prevention, the treatment of suicide-prone patients, and the knowledge of professional literature assessing suicide risk and the seriousness of suicidal gestures and ideation.

Terminal Illness
Patients suffering from terminal illness – and their families – often benefit from therapy addressed to end-of-life concerns.

Transitional Issues
This refers to stresses caused by life changes such as divorce, marriage, remarriage, job loss, change of location, aging, and adult children leaving home.

Violence Prevention
Violence prevention may refer either to helping anger and violence-prone individuals control their behavior OR to helping victims remove themselves from violence-prone situations.

Women's Issues
Some areas of emotional difficulty pertain primarily to women, and clinicians who specialize in this area help women cope with female-specific issues.

Workplace Issues and Job Stress
This is an area where stress management procedures often apply.

Insurances Accepted

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For a list of providers who prescribe medication for mental health problems, click here.

Guide to Degrees and Licenses

Ph.D./Psy.D = Doctorate in Psychology

LCSW = Licensed Clinical Social Worker

LPC = Licensed Professional Counselor

LMFT = Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

MS = Master of Science

RN = Registered Nurse

CAC III = Certified Addictions Counselor Level III

All clinicians have extensive Mental Health experience


Westside Behavioral Care, Inc.
Aurora, CO 80046-1570
(303) 986-4197

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